What is one way to increase generational diversity in the workplace?
To help you increase generational diversity in the workplace, we asked HR managers and business leaders this question for their best ideas. From encouraging reverse mentorship to taking a critical look at your recruitment funnel, there are several ideas that may help you increase diversity across all ages in your workforce.
Here are 10 ways to increase generational diversity in the workplace:
- Encourage Reverse Mentorship
- Consider Where Different Generations Are Job-searching
- Use Inclusive Language.
- Ensure Career Paths Progress Consistently Across Ages
- Focus on Accomplishment Across Ages When Hiring
- Include Everyone in All Discussions
- Offer Comprehensive and Competitive Health Benefits
- Keep Your Veteran Employees
- Avoid Age-based Assumptions
- Take a Critical Look at Your Recruitment Funnel
Encourage Reverse Mentorship
Companies can blend the multitude of generations and create a reverse mentorship program to give younger generations the opportunity to share their insight into the professional world with modern trends. Millennials and Gen Z provide incredible insight into digital tactics such as eCommerce or social media, which ultimately allows their senior colleagues to learn from new marketing strategies.
For example, in one sit-down session, a young Gen Z employee can highlight sustainability within the product packaging. As a result, the senior team member can offer leadership or communication advice. This gives workers the ability to collaborate and learn from different age groups.
Sara Adam Slywka, Nestig
Consider Where Different Generations Are Job-searching
Use a diverse array of recruitment strategies and sources to ensure you continue attracting applicants from different generations. Utilizing different places (such as campuses for younger jobseekers or business networking events for more established professionals looking for new opportunities) and different technologies (such as social media platforms, from LinkedIn to TikTok) can help your business ensure job roles are reaching a wider generational audience.
Camille Brouard, myhrtoolkit
Use Inclusive Language
Building a diverse workplace starts with attracting various candidates. However, expressions like “energetic,” “high-potential,” or “digital native” seem to denote “youth” and discourage older job seekers from applying. Indeed, studies have shown that 69% of job seekers are likely or very likely to skip job ads on LinkedIn that employ gender-coded or ageist language. So if you wish to increase generational diversity in the workplace, use inclusive language in your job offers.
Karolina Zajac, Passport Photo Online
Ensure Career Paths Progress Consistently Across Ages
There’s a natural tendency in the workplace to accelerate the career paths of our younger employees, and as a career progresses, to gradually decelerate. In many cases, that career pathing can actually come to a halt for the older generations, as companies look to cement their middle-to-upper management, and control compensation costs. This inconsistent pace can lead to a dissatisfied workforce in the older generations, and even the perception (in many cases legitimate) of age discrimination, which many people only focus on in the hiring cycle. Dissatisfaction then leads to a lack of engagement, which then leads to turnover, which naturally can encourage a workforce that’s less evenly distributed by generation.
Jeremy Ames, Accenture
Focus on Accomplishment Across Ages When Hiring
Stop looking at resumes. Focus on what someone has accomplished and brings to the table for the specific role. This will remove some of the over- or under-qualified issues that rule out younger and older generations. You’ll also deepen your talent pool, which is valuable in this very competitive talent market.
Amy Spurling, Compt
Include Everyone in All Discussions
Be sure to include everyone. Whether it’s a topic on social media that benefits younger employees or a 401K seminar for veteran team members, everyone should have the opportunity to participate. Workers can learn something from their younger or older colleagues and give insight on a specific topic. This creates a collaborative and engaging work environment no matter the topic.
Jodi Neuhauser, Ovaterra
Offer Comprehensive and Competitive Health Benefits
The workplace is often the primary point of access to health and wellness resources for individuals and families. This creates an opportunity for organizations to attract highly qualified talent with generous benefits packages. Since employees of all ages have varying healthcare needs, an employer that offers comprehensive and competitive health benefits will also consistently attract diverse candidates. These benefits must include insurance that covers medical, vision and dental care options that will comprehensively meet the needs of each member.
It is also critical to ensure that access to mental health care is a priority. According to NAMI, “nearly 2 in 5 adults struggled with mental health issues in 2020, compared to about 1 in 5 adults before the pandemic.” Depression alone is estimated to account for $44 billion in losses to workplace productivity so this is a worthy investment for any organization. Prioritizing employee health access will boost recruitment and retention!
Adeola Mead, VitaliTeam Workplace Wellness
Keep Your Veteran Employees
Employee retention is key. The biggest obstacle to generational diversity in the current labor market is veteran employees leaving for greener pastures. It’s great to have a constant influx of young talent, but without generational diversity, you’re really depriving your workplace culture of some valuable perspective, not to mention historical institutional knowledge. Do what you can to keep your employees happy and thriving, especially those who have been with you the longest.
David Culpepper, LifeMD
Avoid Age-based Assumptions
We often make assumptions when talking about different age groups. For example, there is a common belief that older employees are less tech-savvy, and Millennials tend to job-hop. While there might be some truth in these statements, it’s dangerous to overgeneralize and use generational stereotypes as a reference point for your hiring decisions. To avoid age-based assumptions and increase generational diversity in your workplace, be mindful of your communication right from the start. Pay attention to the expressions your organization uses in its job postings, and ask new employees about their experiences during the recruitment process. It’s also a good idea to offer diversity training to your staff to prevent generational discrimination at your company.
Dorota Lysienia, MyPerfectResume
Take a Critical Look at Your Recruitment Funnel
Recruitment can be viewed to consist of three stages: attracting, selecting, and hiring. At which stage do you start to see dilution in diversity? If you don’t have a diverse candidate pool in the first place (attracting), improve your recruitment marketing. If diversity decreases during the interview stage (selecting), adopt a better methodology. If your final candidates are diverse but you only give out job offers (hiring) to a certain age group, train your hiring managers. Analyze where in the funnel the problem is, and start from there.
Max Korpinen, Hireproof
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